The St. Lucia Water Reserve Management Authority (WRMA) says 2015 was the driest year for the country in almost four decades. And farmers and other residents are being advised to plan water conservation methods in preparation for a prolonged dry spell.
Water Resource Management Authority Officer Fitzgerald John says the dry climate has had a significant impact on water levels throughout the island.
“Judging from the data we have at the WRMA, and the MET Services, the rainfall data for Union, George FL Charles and Hewanorra Airport showed that 2015 was the driest year that we’ve had on record for the past 40 years. Also, the SPI [Standardized Precipitation Index], which is the standard index used to calculate drought, indicates that [rainfall is] below average,” he said.
“So leading up to the dry season [which started December 1], St. Lucia actually went into the dry season with a rainfall deficit.”
A prolonged dry spell has been predicted for 2016. As a result, farmers are being urged to take initiative to ensure that they are prepared.
“We are looking at planting resistant crops, digging drainage at the correct height and length, and rainwater harvesting,” John said.
The World Meteorological Organization recently said 2015 was the warmest year on record since 1880.